New Secretary of Roscommon Drama Festival Committee

At the AGM of Roscommon Drama Festival Committee held in Gleeson’s on Wednesday, 14th of September, Mairead Nally was elected to replace Elaine Morris as secretary of the festival committee. Caroline Egan was re-elected as chairperson. Joe Nally was re-elected as treasurer and Tom Costello was re-elected as PRO. 

  The meeting recorded the great contribution that Canon Eugene McLoughlin had made to the committee in his capacity as President and good wishes were expressed to him in his retirement as Parish Priest of Roscommon.

  Elaine Morris has moved out of Roscommon due to work commitments and her annual report to the AGM gives a good insight into the work of the festival committee during 2016.

  “Naivety will not be indulged here… It was never going to be any other way with the challenge posed. ‘Dare to Dream’ Roscommon Festival Committee having confidently executed – note the pun – the One Act All-Ireland Finals would not refrain from the very essence that is drama, daring to dream. And so 99 years after the event, Mary Finn took the mantle and led, supported by her army of dreamers and united with the community to create our most noteworthy fringe event to date, ‘Dare to Dream’, to commemorate the heroic visionaries who led the rebels in 1916.

  It is this fringe event that the 2016 Roscommon Drama Festival will be remembered for. Underpinned by community involvement and celebration the ‘Dare to Dream’ event emerged in all facets of the Festival. Each night committee narrators presented on the seven signatories prior to the performance with one of the memorable nights seeing the audience join with the narrator in song. Well done Jimmy!

  Our well-respected adjudicator, Paula Dempsey, who returned to our Festival for the second time, was presented with a commemorative piece that each group left Roscommon with. In promoting and encouraging the value of theatre the committee took the opportunity to present a Drama League of Ireland Scholarship to a participating actor.

  Prior to this, our Festival launch saw the highest numbers in attendance to date. This was as a result of the funding acquired through the Community Participation Programme administered by Roscommon County Council. In addition to sponsoring the above, it allowed the committee extend the story writing competition, making a contribution to the schools who submitted entries, acknowledging the long-standing relationship the Festival has built with the surrounding national schools.

  The success didn’t stop there. Four of the confined groups, Compantis Lir, Take 5 Drama Group, Glenamaddy Players and DADS, who performed at the Festival, made it to the All-Ireland Confined Final with two of the Open groups, Prosperous Dramatic Society and Bunclody/Kilmyshall Drama Group, making it to Athlone.           

  An excellent funding application, vision, a bit of daring, a lot of dreaming, nice costumes, community support and a well-oiled machine facilitated this hugely memorable year for Roscommon Drama Festival. Well done Caroline and all.”

  All the committee members wish Elaine the very best of luck for the future and thank her sincerely for her dedication and efficiency as secretary of the festival committee.